United States District Court, D. Delaware
TYRONE J. MORRIS, Plaintiff,
DANA METZGER, et al., Defendants.
J. Morris, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna,
Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Tyrone J. Morris, an inmate at the James T. Vaughn
Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware, filed this action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (D.I. 1). He appears pro
se and has been granted leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. (D.I. 7). The Court screens and reviews the
amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)
Court screened Plaintiff's original complaint and he was
given leave to amend. (D.I. 13, 14). In his amended complaint
(D.I. 15), Plaintiff states that he has psoriasis, severe
arthritis, and mental illness. He has had psoriasis since age
15. He alleges the lack of proper care from Defendants has
caused him extreme pain and anguish. Plaintiff alleges this
also affects his mental health by exacerbating severe
depression and obsessive compulsive disorder to the point of
suicidal ideation. Plaintiff was hospitalized for more than a
week for an allergic reaction to medications prescribed to
treat his conditions.
alleges Defendants refuse to provide the proper amount of
ointment needed for daily skin care so that he may shower. As
a result, he is left with a choice between severe pain and
bathing. Plaintiff also alleges that medical staff saw the
severity of his skin condition, but would not provide enough
ointment to cover a single leg at a time. Plaintiff alleges
that, at times, he is riddled with pain and can barely move.
Plaintiff complains of trouble sleeping and semi-constant
twitching and itching. Plaintiff believes the denial of
proper medication led to a blood infection. Plaintiff alleges
that he almost died from the infection.
as Defendants are JTVCC Warden Dana Metzger, Delaware
Department of Correction Commissioner Perry Phelps, JTVCC
Medical Director Matthew Wofford, and Deputy Warden
Scarborough. Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive
relief as well as compensatory and punitive damages.
federal court may properly dismiss an action sua
sponte under the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and § 1915A(b) if "the action
is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief." Ball v.
Famiglio, 726 F.3d 448, 452 (3d Cir. 2013). See
also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (in forma
pauperis actions); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A (actions in
which prisoner seeks redress from a governmental defendant).
The Court must accept all factual allegations in a complaint
as true and take them in the light most favorable to a
pro se plaintiff. Phillips v. County of
Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 229 (3d Cir. 2008);
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007). Because
Plaintiff proceeds pro se, his pleading is liberally
construed and his amended complaint, "however inartfully
pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. at 94.
action is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and § 1915A(b)(1), a court may dismiss
a complaint as frivolous if it is "based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory." Neitzke,
490 U.S. at 327-28; Wilson v. Rackmill, 878 F.2d
772, 774 (3d Cir. 1989).
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and §
1915A(b)(1) is identical to the legal standard used when
ruling on Rule 12(b)(6) motions. Tourscherv.
McCullough, 184 F.3d 236, 240 (3d Cir. 1999). However,
before dismissing a complaint or claims for failure to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to the
screening provisions of 28 U.S.C. §§1915 and 1915A,
the Court must grant Plaintiff leave to amend unless
amendment would be inequitable or futile. See Grayson v.
Mayview State Hosp., 293 F.3d 103, 114 (3d Cir. 2002).
well-pleaded complaint must contain more than mere labels and
conclusions. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662
(2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544
(2007). A plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to show that
a claim has substantive plausibility. See Johnson v. City
of Shelby, __ U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014). A
complaint may not be dismissed, however, for imperfect
statements of the legal theory supporting the claim asserted.
See Id. at 346.
reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint must take three
steps: (1) take note of the elements the plaintiff must plead
to state a claim; (2) identify allegations that, because they
are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the
assumption of truth; and (3) when there are well-pleaded
factual allegations, assume their veracity and then determine
whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.
Connelly v. Lane Constr. Corp.,809 F.3d 780, 787
(3d Cir. 2016). Elements are sufficiently alleged when the
facts in the complaint "show" that the plaintiff is
entitled to relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Deciding